Interview with director Kip

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

Ever since I was a child, film and particularly animation struck me the hardest. Movies sank deeply and molded my artistic visions and personality. I only recently started focusing more in directing and animation, mostly for music related projects  (which is also a very meaningful aspect in my life).

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

Obviously no.  It’s like asking if you HAVE to take drugs to make psychedelic art. It’s helpful, it might even be a requirement for some people – but not a necessity.

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

Good question. For me it’s always harder to keep the focus for a long period of time than to start new projects. The winning film took a day to write and make a story board for, and almost a year to actually produce. But there was a goal and I knew once I started this journey it has to be finished, like a trip you’ve no idea where and when your finish line is going to be (mainly since there was no actual deadline for this film..). For me getting started is usually the easy part. I may need to conquer the urge to start multiple projects in the same period of time..

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

In indie film making it is mostly important to maintain the flow of work and the vibes in the studio. The crew that works on these productions is usually very small and the wages aren’t too fancy. So the joy of creation and the enthusiasm about the results  – should be at top priority. I had some experiences in pushing my crew to its limits instead of airing out and taking some days off to regain power, which made some tension. Luckily for me, they are also good friends and we were able to talk and sort these issues. Bottom line, I think your crew members would rather finish the projects happy than finish the work faster.

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?

Wow, where to begin? There were so many… I think everywhere we had to compromise something in a shot just made us think of a creative alternative. For example if a rig collapsed in the end of a shot, we just started the “cut” a little earlier and added a few frames to the X-Sheet of the following cut. 

  • What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?

I think most artistic obstacles were clear to the team from the storyboard stage, and we understood what is and isn’t possible and came up with alternatives if needed.

  • You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

Haifa is a small city, so the artistic scene is small too. There are not many people doing art and film, so if they are good – you’ll hear about them. To answer the second question – I think its important to push each other forward in the field, and support personal projects too. At the end everybody wants the recognition for their own shit, so they are more able to continue doing it, and a group can help that massively.

  • What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

I think audiences want to click – Art has to touch them on a personal level, but at the same time to feel like something unique (to their taste) is happening in their brain and heart.The filmmaker’s role is to create what they believe with all their heart is genuine and unique, regardless what ANYONE would think about it.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

This is the first project I’m actively sending out to film festivals. This is his second win. I shall come back to you with an answer in a few months/years.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

I believe no matter how original and singular you think you are, there are traces of everything you were exposed to in your work. I believe its more important to create emotion and inspire – This can happen in safe cinema as well. However just because you do something avant-garde doesn’t instantly make it awesome.